Understanding How Germs Spread in Your Office

A top concern for many offices during the pandemic is how germs spread and what steps to take to minimize their spread. As more people return to the workplace and with an increase of in-person customers to stores, employers in every industry have been taking steps to provide safer, healthier business environments.

Germs spread quickly, and in places of business surfaces get touched often and by many people. By understanding exactly how germs spread around your business you can better understand what can be done to reduce the spread.

How Germs Spread at the Workplace

Viruses, germs, and bacteria accumulate on surfaces around the workplace and can also be spread by airborne transmission. Hot spots known to harbor germs in the office include carpeting, fixtures, door knobs and handles, office equipment, and bathrooms.

Did you know:

  • The average employee touches 300 surfaces every 30 minutes.
  • A University of Arizona study found that one door contaminated with an artificial virus spread to almost 50% of the hands of employees and surfaces in the office within just four hours.
  • There can be up to 100% reduction in bacteria after cleaning a keyboard with antibacterial cleaning solution. (1)

Every company wants healthy employees and a clean workplace, especially in these changing times. As an employer, you can help keep germs at bay by paying special attention to the following areas:

Unkept Carpets Are Breeding Grounds for Bacteria and Germs

Carpet and rugs can give a facility a welcoming feel and a beautiful finish, but the high traffic seen by carpets and rugs brings in germs and allergens. Many common allergens such as pollen, fungi, chemicals, tars, and residues can also be found in office carpets and rugs.

An easy remedy to keep these germs at bay is regular carpet care and maintenance. Vacuuming daily, in addition to having your office carpets professionally cleaned twice a year, will make a huge impact on your carpet’s appearance and cleanliness.

High-Touch Areas

Studies show that the average office desk has more bacteria than a toilet seat. The average workplace desk has more than ten million bacteria, which is 400 times more than on the average toilet seat.

Items such as computer keyboards, handsets, and office furniture can become unsanitary quickly with regular use. Bacteria can multiply every day if a surface is not cleaned with high-quality commercial cleaning supplies.

Germs Spread from the Restroom

One of the most obvious areas where germs are present is the restroom. Office restrooms are known to contain a multitude of bacteria and germs that can be spread easily due to its usage throughout the day.

Hand washing goes a long way for workplace hygiene, but the most effective way to limit germs’ effects is with regular professional cleaning services. Commercial cleaners use high quality professional-grade cleaning chemicals and are trained to properly wipe down all surfaces in bathrooms and your entire office.

Staying Healthy

To keep germs in check and avoid illness, encourage employees to clean their workspaces often. A good rule of thumb is to wipe down high-touch points such as desktops, monitors, keyboards, computer mouse, and phones at least once a day with proper disinfectants, not just soap and water.

Other top spots for germs include doorknobs, elevator buttons, vending machine buttons, coffee pots, microwaves, and refrigerators in the break room.

While it is impossible to wipe down every surface you touch, washing your hands and using hand sanitizer can help kill the bacteria you pick up during your workday.

 

Sources

1) The Germiest Places In Your Office (webmd.com)